August 19, 2022


Health for a better future

COVID vaccine boosters to be tested by UW Medicine

UW Medicine is one of 12 institutions in the nation set to test the safety and efficacy of COVID-19 vaccine booster shots.

The trial, sponsored by the National Institutes of Health, will mix-and-match types of doses for participants, by administering a single booster shot of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine, according to a UW release announcing the trial.

That will include participants who’ve previously received either two Pfizer or Moderna doses or a single dose of the Johnson & Johnson vaccine. Participants will be monitored for about a year after receiving the booster dose.

“We just want to be ready for whatever this virus throws at us,” said Dr. Christine Johnston, principal investigator and an associate professor of medicine, Division of Allergy and Infectious Diseases, at the University of Washington School of Medicine.

“We want to have the evidence about whether boosters are effective or not,” said Johnston. “Right now, I think we still need a lot more data to understand when to get boosters, how to get them, how to phase them, the timing. And so that is exactly what this trial is trying to address.”

The trial will consist of two groups, with group one having finished vaccine doses at least 12 weeks before joining the study. The second group will involve those who have not previously received any COVID vaccine. That group will receive the two-shot Moderna version and might receive a booster later.

The trial will last for about a year and involve at least 7 to 11 in-person visits.

Participants must be at least 18 years old and will undergo a screening assessment to see whether they are eligible. Study visits will involve physical exams, blood draws and vaccine injections. Participants will be asked to keep a diary of their vaccine reactions for 7 days after each injection.

Those who’ve had previous COVID infection, are currently pregnant or breastfeeding or have had serious reactions to vaccines are not eligible.

Members of Group 1 will be compensated $800, while those in Group 2 will be compensated $1,400, according to the study details. The participating clinic is on the 11th floor of the Ninth and Jefferson Building at Harborview Medical Center in Seattle. For more information, go to

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Debbie Cockrell has been with The News Tribune since 2009. She reports on business and development, local and regional issues.